The Grape Tree – Part 1

The Grape Tree - Part 1

Chinmayi Pasunuri

        The girl was walking to the backyard of her cottage to the grape tree that hung over the house and was held up with poles for safety. The tree’s grapes were mostly purple, but still some greens were there. The little girl put down the stool and grabbed a basket from the ground and as she climbed up, she started picking the green grapes as requested  by her mother. The girl picked the fruit for a while when a man came up to her. 

         “Hello little girl,” The man said; he had sunken eyes, black neat hair, and pale skin. 

         “The front door is on the other side,” the girl said calmly, not looking at him. “People always get that confused probably because there is no way to differentiate; we are in the middle of the woods after all. What is it that you want?”

         “I need a place to stay,” said the man. 

         “This is not an Inn. Go to the next town for a place to stay,” she said, getting down from the stool. She brushed the branches and extra grapes off her dress. 

         “See that’s the problem, I’m on the run.” He said quietly.

         “I will not have a criminal in my house!” she snapped and turned her head sharply at him.

         “I never said I was a criminal,” said the man, eyes wide. “Who are you anyway?”

         “Celcia, ten-years-old.” She said, grabbing an old rod. “Now tell me who you are.”

         “… My name is Robin Alsmith…” said Mr. Alsmith.

         “Why are you on the run?” said Celcia.

         “I prefer not to say…” said Alsmith.

         “You did something horrible didn’t you? Murder! It has to be murder! And you going to  murder me and my poor mother! I won’t let that happen!” Celicia started running at him with the rod.

         “No I didn’t! I-i was framed for witchcraft!”

         “ Oh.”  She put the rod down.

The girl’s mother came from inside to the backyard. She saw her daughter with a rod and the man was scared.

         “Cici! What did we talk about? Hitting innocent people with a rod?” The mother came and snatched the rod from her.

         “B-but he’s a criminal!” Celcia pouted.

         “I JUST said-,” Alsmith started.

         “SHUT UP JERRY!”

         Alsmith looked at Celcia’s mother. “Your daughter is very rude.”

         “I lived with her for ten years, you think I didn’t notice?” Celcia’s mother said.

        The man chuckled. “Why don’t you come inside?” Celcia’s mother gestured to the door.

         “But mom-,”

         “No buts Cici,” Celcia’s mother said as the man entered the house and they followed. 

         The mother was cooking dinner, and Celcia was glaring at the man as he tapped to a beat only he knew. When dinner was ready they ate in silence. 

The next day, everyone was eating breakfast when Ceclia asked the man “When will you leave?” 


         “Maybe tomorrow,” the man said.

         “Hurry it up then!”


         In the background a glass was shattered.

         “What was that..?” Cici said, looking around. 

         Alsmith’s eyes widened. “They are here……”